Do You Have Sinus Pressure or a Toothache?

February 24, 2022

Girl with tooth painNobody wants a toothache! If your teeth start hurting, you might start worrying that you have cavities, gum disease, or need a root canal. However, tooth pain can also be caused by sinus infections. So how do you know if the pain is from sinus pressure or a toothache? Should you go see your doctor or your dentist?

Sinus Pressure vs. Toothache: How to Tell the Difference

Sometimes you can tell the difference between sinus pressure and toothache by the type of pain—if it’s a constant ache that affects more than one tooth, it’s probably sinus pressure. On the other hand, if it’s a sharp or throbbing pain that seems localized to one tooth, it’s probably a toothache.

Sinusitis and toothaches have some symptoms in common, including headaches, fever, and bad breath. If you have a sinus infection or toothache, it may be difficult to tell where the pain is coming from. However, each condition has some unusual symptoms.

Symptoms of sinus infections that are different from toothache include:

  • Runny nose or congestion
  • Altered sense of smell
  • Sore throat
  • Postnasal drip

Symptoms of toothache that are different from sinusitis can be:

  • Tooth sensitivity to heat and cold
  • Swollen gums
  • Pain when chewing
  • Sharp or throbbing pain

There is another link between sinus pressure and toothaches because sometimes dental infections trigger sinus infections. The upper back molars are very close to the maxillary sinus. If a dental infection ruptures the membrane that lines the nasal cavity, it could spread to the sinuses.

It’s estimated that dental infections cause about 40% of chronic sinus infections. So if you get a toothache, it’s important to seek dental care right away, so you can stop infections from spreading to your bones or sinuses.

Don’t Wait for Emergency Dental Care

Never ignore tooth pain! Toothaches often indicate serious problems that will only get worse without treatment. If you have a toothache, make an appointment at Appletree Dental as soon as possible. We will examine your mouth to determine whether your toothache is from a dental infection or sinus pressure.

Severe tooth pain could be a dental emergency! Toothaches that keep you up at night need to be treated right away. Contact us to schedule an emergency exam. We’ll make room in our schedule and provide the treatment you need to stop the pain and prevent further infections.